NEIGHBORS || May 9th, 2014

TheDouble-poster Mia Wasikowska is one of those actresses that is good in just about everything. In her new film this week, “The Double” starring Jesse Eisenberg as a man that meets his complete opposite doppelganger, she plays the love interest. Directed by “The Watch” actor Richard Ayoade, who takes a second stab at feature film directing following his 2010 coming of age love story “Submarine”, his latest film takes a much more serious tone as Eisenberg struggles to compete professionally and personally with his double.
GodsPocket-poster “Mad Men” star John Slattery steps into his directorial debut “God’s Pocket” as his role on “Mad Men” draws to a close. Starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final roles as well as Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”), and John Turturro (“Tranformers”) in supporting roles. When Jeanie’s (Hendricks) son (Caleb Landry Jones) turns up dead, Mickey and Arthur (Hoffman and Turturro) begin to ask around to find out what really happened, in this extremely dark comedy with an all-star cast.
MomsNightOut-poster A PG rated look at an out of control night, “Moms’ Night Out” sees a hand full of mothers leaving their kids with their husbands and going out for a night on the town. Until they find out their kids may not be where they are supposed to be, their van gets stolen, and their husbands end up in the hospital. Apparently targeting the same group of people going out for films like “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is For Real”, this also comes out on Mother’s Day weekend, which is good for that group of people and means nothing to the rest of us.
Neighbors-poster Having worked on “Neighbors”, I can easily say it is one of the funniest films of the year, starring Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as new parents living in their dream home, when a wild fraternity headed by Zac Efron and Dave Franco move in next door. What could have been a cohesive existence spirals into a war that neither side is ready to lose, complete with some of the best physical comedy to come out of the last decade of comedies, including the reoccurring airbag joke that sends lead Rogen flying through the air on several occasions.

Chef-poster The third actor-turned-director film of the week is Jon Favreau’s much talked about independent film “Chef”. Granted, Favreau has a much heftier directing career than the rest with “Made”, “Elf”, “Iron Man 1 & 2”, and a few more. In his latest film he stars lead with a huge supporting cast including Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, and even Robert Downey, Jr. in a very supporting role. Telling the story of an amazing chef who quits his high profile job to start a food truck as to make the food he really wants to make, this film looks like a good time.
CyberSeniors-poster “Cyber-Seniors” feels more like a PBS special rather than a feature film, as young people teach senior citizens how to use the internet, including getting them set up on Facebook, teaching them how to Skype with their kids and grand kids, and even getting them to upload videos to YouTube. As with many low concept documentaries, the trailer for this film provides enough information and enough emotional resolve to be content not actually seeing the film.
DevilsKnot-poster Reese Witherspoon plays yet another down-home girl, this time in the fictionalized look at the West Memphis Three titled “Devil’s Knot”. Playing the mother of the child that is killed as the media and local law enforce weave their tales and convictions towards seemingly the wrong people, Colin Firth’s character steps in to offer counterpoints that land unpopular in the community. Also starring Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”), Mireille Enos (“The Killing”), and Dane DeHaan (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and I surprised this film is not getting more attention.
FedUp-poster Is it proving the film-makers point that as I watch this trailer, my mouth waters for a soda or some fast food? “Fed Up” is a documentary about the cause of the obesity epidemic in America being linked to the sugar companies that add sugar to almost everything that we consume. Comparing them at times to the tobacco industry and their defense of their strategies, I admit I am curious as to the facts of these allegations, but to me, this is also counter-intuitive as I will be craving the foods and drink that they are telling me not to.
HornetsNest-poster If you have seen the Academy Award nominated documentary “Restrepo” then you know how powerful a real life look at war can be. Following the success of “Lone Survivor”, this new documentary “The Hornet’s Nest” provides footage at the front-lines of war with graphic and vivid detail. Touting the copy lines “this is not based on a true story… this is the true story” draws the connection to this year’s “Lone Survivor” which took a cinematic license with the true life story of four soldiers.
JayAndSilentBobsSuperGroovyCartoonMovie-poster Not that big a fan of Jay and Silent Bob to begin with, an animated feature titled “Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie” is really not something I feel like I would enjoy. The plot of the film sees Jay and Silent Bob win the lottery and become superheroes. Adhering to the marijuana smoking, lewd comment wielding audience that follows this series, all of the pot jokes are lost on me.
LegendsOfOzDorothysReturn-poster With all the horrible things people have been saying about this film, actually seeing the trailer for the animated feature “Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” makes things even worse. The animation styling sets the art-form back to the ’90s, with no comparison to that of Disney or Pixar’s handle on the medium. With such a stellar voice cast, it is quite impressive how much they ruined this film. With a slight hint of the comedy we know from “Shrek”, had it taken that route completely, this film could have been saved.
MakingTheRules-poster Apparently Robin Thicke is acting now. Excuse me, “multi-platnium R&B sensation” Robin Thicke is acting now. “Making The Rules” sees a married woman who loses her job as a chef suddenly looking for change in her life and meeting the hunky Thicke who tries to steal her away from her boring life. The only reason to actually see this film would be to see Jaime Pressly without a shirt on and there are plenty of less time consuming avenues as to see such things.
PaloAlto-poster Yet another Coppola steps into the family business of directing as Gia Coppola directs her first feature film “Palo Alto”, based on the book “Palo Alto: Stories” by James Franco, who also stars. Taking a look a several different high school student stories, the main one sees Emma Roberts playing a student that gets involved with her soccer coach, played by Franco. The film also stars Val Kilmer and Chris Messina, and looks to be a very engaging drama about the hard truths of coming of age.
QueenMargot-poster Premiering in America for the first time and digitally remastered, “Queen Margot” is along the lines of another “Romeo and Juliet” story with death, forced marriages, and apparently lots of intimate moments between the leads. Not keen on my foreign cinema, I really have little idea who the actors or directors are and have little desire to see this 1994 remastered film.
RedwoodHighway-poster This heartwarming story of an older woman deciding to walk 80 miles to her daughter’s wedding on the Oregon coast, “Redwood Highway” stars Academy Award nominee Shirley Knight. Living in assisted living and unhappy with life in general, the decision she makes is about taking the reigns back on her life as she states, “everywhere I turn, people try to stop me”, which is a blanket statement for the elderly that lose control of their lives. Despite all this emotion and solid acting, there is not much here for me to grasp on to.
StageFright-poster A horror musical is not something you see every day, but with “Stage Fright”, the serial killer genre meets the song and dance genre, with a dark humor all its own. Allie MacDonald (“House at the End of the Street”) plays lead in the film and in the play, “The Haunting of the Opera”, a role her characters mom played before she was brutally murdered. Once rehearsals begin, the same killings return. I love horror films and enjoy musicals, but together, the combo holds very little interest to me.
TheWeddingVideo-poster2 Sadly, I remember passing on this film almost two years ago, but apparently it is finally getting a bigger theatrical release. Exactly what it sounds like “The Wedding Video” is a comedy that sees a documentary crew following around a bride and groom and wedding party as they prepare for the big day. Full of British humor which never even brings a chuckle, I long for the day that Lucy Punch finds a role she was truly meant for. But for now I pass on this film for a second time.


  • Chef
  • God’s Pocket
  • Neighbors
  • Palo Alto


  • Devil’s Knot
  • The Double




  • The Hornet’s Nest


  • Cyber-Seniors
  • Fed Up
  • Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie
  • Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
  • Making The Rules
  • Moms’ Night Out
  • Queen Margot
  • Redwood Highway
  • Stage Fright
  • The Wedding Video



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